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Binoculars

Rare Arctic Sabine's gull turns up in Pymatuning State Park, Ohio

© Shawn Collings
Sabine's Gull at Pymatuning.
Visitors to Pymatuning State Park have been greeted in recent weeks by a very rare guest, Sabine's gull. Other rare guests may soon follow.

"Sabine's gull has been attracting birders from all over the area," said Meadville photographer Shawn Collins. "The gull is normally only found out west, Alaska and northern Canada. I was able to capture some photographs near the spillway area."

Collins says he has been a birder for most of his life and in recent years began to learn the skills of a photographer.

"It was just great to be able to photograph this bird right here at Pymatuning."

The Audubon Society in Meadville is aware of the rare bird at Pymatuning.

"It's just a beautiful bird," said Sarah Sargent, of the Audubon Society. "It's a good looking bird in its breeding plumage."
Ice Cube

Growth in Antarctic sea ice sets new record, pierces 20 million square kilometer barrier

Sunshinehours reports that the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent for September 19th, 2014 is 20.11297 million square kilometers, which is 1,535,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 climatological mean.

Another 58,000 sq km. was added since yesterday, making it the 7th All-Time Record in 7 Days.

This new record is 610,000 sq km higher than the previous daily record. The red line represents 2014 data.
Antarctic sea ice expansion
© sunshine Hours
Data for Day 261.
Data source

Comment: With so much focus on the "loss" of Arctic sea ice, not many people are looking southward. The Antarctic has as much affect on climate as the more familiar Arctic. It is also just as sensitive to variations in solar radiation, increased aerosols from volcanic eruptions and other sources, and increased atmospheric loading of cosmic dust. Though the mechanism is not well understood, it seems some of the more dramatic effects of global cooling are becoming evident here first.

Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection

Ambulance

Srinagar: Livestock carcasses float on flooded roads - faces epidemic outbreak

An epidemic threat is looming large over flood hit Srinagar with thousands of carcasses of livestock lying dead in the streets of the summer capital.

In Army's largest dairy farm at Bemina on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, bodies of hundreds of Jersey cows and buffaloes are lying unattended for the past eight days after the flood hit the city. The farm opposite to the Army's cantonment, Toto Ground, is spread over hundreds of canals of land in the middle of residential area.

Doctors termed the situation as "very threatening" saying if the dead animals were not removed and buried along with decomposing agents, the situation could lead to an epidemic outbreak. "This situation is a breeding ground for deadly diseases like cholera, hepatitis and typhoid," said a known doctor at SMHS hospital.

A young boy who identified himself as Saifullah Gulzar of Al-Shakir colony, Bemina said there were 370 cows and buffaloes in the Army run farm. He said the farm got submerged on Sunday,
September 7. "The main gate of the farm was closed which led to the death of the animals. Only seven cows could be saved while they were being washed away by floods," said Gulzar. While most of the carcasses have got stuck in the mud and flood water in the farm, many of them which were washed away by the flood were lying on the roadside, on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.
Attention

Humpback whale washes up dead at Kalbarri beach, Western Australia

© Picture: Kerby Brown
Imogen Caldwell and the beached dead whale at Red Bluff, Kalbarri.
A 12m humpback whale washed up on a popular Kalbarri beach on Wednesday night, bringing with it a school of sharks and a steady stream of onlookers.

The whale was barely breathing and had horrific injuries, including shark bites, when it washed up on Red Bluff beach about 9pm.

It died soon after it reached the sand, leaving the Shire of Northampton with the mammoth task of trying to remove it.

Contractors, who were called in from Geraldton, yesterday spent hours trying to lift the whale on to a truck so it could be disposed of inland.
Attention

Alaska man shoots 9-foot grizzly bear that tried to enter his home

© Jim Landess
Jim Landess with the grizzly bear that he killed after it tried to enter his home in Sterling, Alaska
Jim Landess woke up to loud banging at his home in Sterling, Alaska in the middle of the night, only to find a giant grizzly bear outside the dining room window. He ran outside and fired a few shots to scare the animal away, but it returned three hours later. This time, Landess fired seven rounds into the animal, killing it.

A sleepy Alaskan man had to twice battle an angry bear that attacked his house.

On the second go-round, Jim Landess fired seven rounds from his .45-caliber handgun, killing the rampaging animal.

The ruckus started about 3:30 a.m. on July 7 when Landess was woken up by loud banging on a window and a wall at his Sterling home, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Downstairs, his 17-year-old son was looking at the face of a 9-foot grizzly bear peering at him outside the dining room window.
Cloud Precipitation

Four die as flash flood sweeps through Southern French campsite

flash flood in Lamalou-les-bains
© Photo: EPA

Rescue workers evacuate a man from his home after it was hit by heavy floods in Lamalou-les-bains

Storms turn peaceful river near camping site in southern France into a raging torrent with people swept away


Four people died when storms turned a peaceful river that bordered their camping site in southern France into a raging torrent that swept them away, local authorities said Thursday.

The site in Lamalou-les-Bains was devastated by the overnight flood as storms that had already killed an elderly lady in the nearby region of Aveyron also left a person missing in another neighbouring district.

Authorities in the Herault district where Lamalou-les-Bains is located had initially said five had perished in the tragedy, but later revised the toll down to four and said two other people were still missing.

In one incident, a man who was trying to save a woman from drowning saw his own wife and daughter swept away in their caravan, the town's mayor told AFP.

"The father, who was around 60, went out and saw a woman who was going to drown," Philippe Tailland said.

"He held her by the hand but unfortunately, he had to let go of this woman.

"When he turned around, he saw his caravan being swept away with his wife and 34-year-old daughter inside," he said.

The caravan was later found stuck under a bridge and the body of his wife discovered inside. His daughter is still missing.

He is "in a catastrophic state," Tailland said.
Black Cat

Wildlife officers shoot and kill cougar in south Calgary, Canada

© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood
Calgary Police block the entrance to the South Calgary Health Campus as they search for cougars on Thursday, Sept 18, 2014 in Calgary. Police and wildlife officers are watching two cougars that have wandered into south Calgary. One of the cats is near a hospital and the other is at a nearby construction site.
Wildlife officers shot and killed a cougar Thursday that wandered near a hospital in south Calgary.

Brendan Cox, an Alberta government spokesman, said there were reports of another big cat in the area, but they turned out to be false.

"One cougar has been destroyed by officers," he said.

Cox said the wildlife officers had hoped to tranquilize and trap the cougar that was laying in tall grass.

He said after watching the animal they determined the adult male cat was too riled up.

Cox said cougars can become agitated when they get hit with a tranquilizer dart. He said the cat could have run off into a more populated area, putting people at risk.
Attention

Bear attacks - fourth fatality this year in North America: Bear kills hunter near Norman Wells, Canada

A hunter was killed by a bear near Norman Wells, N.W.T., Wednesday.

Norman Wells RCMP received a call around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday that a hunter had been attacked by a bear southwest of the community, near the Yukon border.

Efforts to reach the area were hampered by weather, said police.

Representatives of the RCMP, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Office of the Chief Coroner reached the scene Thursday morning and confirmed a hunter had died as a result of a bear attack.

There is no word yet on what type of bear attacked the hunter. Grizzly bears are found in the Mackenzie Mountains area near the Yukon/N.W.T. border, where the incident took place.

RCMP say the incident is not considered suspicious and the matter has been turned over to the N.W.T. coroner's office

Comment: The other deaths caused by bears in 2014 in north America -

Bear attacks and kills 31-year-old man in Wyoming

Rick Cross, missing Kananaskis hunter, killed in bear attack, Alberta

Woman killed by a black bear in Fort McMurray, Alberta

By way of comparison the number of deaths in the recent past (years 2000 - 2013) seem to average out to about just two a year, going by this wikipedia list -

List of fatal bear attacks in North America

A number of fatalities has also occurred recently in Russia -

Bear attacks kill at least three people with many others injured in Siberia and far-east Russia

Wolf

Dozens of pets killed by coyotes in College Park, Florida

Residents in College Park have been dealing with wild coyotes terrorizing their neighborhood and killing their pets over the last few months.

Three to four dozen animals, mostly cats, have been attacked over that time and residents have been left to fend for themselves.

Some ask if it will take a person being attacked by a coyote before anything is done by officials.

"It was just horrible. I hardly even slept last night," said Marcia Kazmi, whose cat was killed by a coyote. "It would have been better for me if my cat had been run over by a car."

Kazmi was devastated by the death of her prized Blue Point Himalayan, named Max, who was found dead in a neighbor's backyard Monday afternoon.
Attention

Fourth elephant attack within four weeks in Sri Lanka


Elephant breaking a branch after a charge.
Journalist cum farmer, I. L. Siraj from Palamunai, in the Ampara District had a brush with death, when a lone elephant attacked him.

The journalist was heading to his paddy field on his motorcycle, early in the morning, when the elephant rushed out of the jungle at Palamunai and attacked him with his trunk.

He lay on the paddy field without movement as the elephant came closer to him. According to Siraj the elephant stood there for a couple of minutes and then moved slowly into the nearby jungle without causing him further harm.

It was after the elephant disappeared from the scene that the people from the surroundings approached and rushed the journalist to the hospital. Siraj suffered a fracture of his right arm.

Meanwhile, according to the paddy cultivators from the Palamunai area, the elephant involved in the attack has been roaming around the Palamunai area for the past several weeks.

Comment: See also these reports of recent attacks: Two killed in a wild elephant attack in Maankulam, Sri Lanka

One person killed in wild elephant attack in Sri Lanka

Three tourists escaped with only minor injuries after elephant overturns car in Kruger Park, South Africa

Eight elephants attack town; one person reported dead in Ghana

2 killed in separate wild elephant attacks in India

Wild elephant attacks kills two in Sri Lanka

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